Computer Components

What's in your computer?

Components on a motherboard

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The CPU is essential in a computer. CPU stands for Central processing unit.

Some more expensive CPU’s come with a heat sync, also you can buy them. A heat sync is like a fan to cool your CPU.

A CPU has about 204 pins to connect to the motherboard. You must select the appropriate motherboard for your CPU.


RAM is a fast type of memory in which programs, applications and data are stored. RAM is temporary.

Here are some examples of what's stored in RAM:

  • the operating system
  • applications
  • the graphical user interface (GUI)

If a computer loses power, all data stored in its RAM is lost.


ROM means (read only memory). It means that it stores all the tasks what you have done. It also contains the boot firmware. For example, ROM stores the instructions for the computer to start up when it is turned on again. A ROM is non-removable.

Hard Disk

A hard disk stores:

  • the operating system
  • software applications or programs
  • the majority of your data files

Hard disks spin at very high speeds (around 7,200 RPM - revolutions per minute) within a sealed unit inside the computer.

Hard disks store large amounts of data - 200GB (gigabyte) to 5TB (terrabyte)

is common in desktop computers. Some Data Centres Hold 100PB - 1PB (petebyte)

The data stored on a hard disk is retained until deleted, but it needs to be loaded into main store RAM before it can be used.

Disk Drive